We've had goldfish bowls, punch-ups and thugs - can Joey deliver something new?

By Lee Ryder on Jun 4, 07 11:50 AM

His slate will take some cleaning and he makes Kieron Dyer and Titus Bramble look like naughty schoolboys.

But Joey Barton's emergence as Sam Allardyce's top summer transfer target could see the manager with a tough task of taming ahead, if he is to get the best out of the England midfielder.

Barton has already rubbed up the backs of England senior players up by slagging them off for making books after the World Cup.

And other troublesome moments include the night when Stuart Pearce actually requested that the Thai police lock him up for a scuffle with a junior Everton fan and the final straw coming after he assaulted his team mate Ousmane Dabo.

Apart from all of that lot - he's one helluva player!

And at £5.5million the Huyton-born schemer could be ours!

But haven't we been down this potentially unpleasant road before?

Dyer, Bowyer, Bellamy, Robert, Jenas, Bramble....between them you've got goldfish bowls, punch-ups, insults to fans, police cautions, attacking journalists and not least some shocking excuses for performances down the years.

The argument is that Big Sam will take no grief from Barton and will make sure he channels his aggression where it counts on the field of play.

Joey, like El Hadji Diouf and Nik Anelka at Bolton, can benefit from Big Sam's guidance and become the star he can be in a black and white shirt.

Let's face it, Newastle is a bigger stage than Manchester City to do it on, despite the trophy-less nature of both clubs.

And with Scott Parker ready to sit down for a fry up on Green Street to celebrate his switch to claret and blue land, Barton is about to give Newcastle the bite the midfield has been lacking for quite some time.


Ron Lambert said:

I think Barton would enjoy the goldfish bowl in my humble Freudian opinion. Kids like him just want to be loved, by all around them, same as Gazza. If Sam can convince him of the benefits of a few hard working years and a bit of discipline, he could end his years on ' Match of the day ' . There's no doubt that he's an all round better player than Parker, with faster vision i.e. doesn't do ring-a-roses with the ball when the whole team are moving forward as a unit begging for the quick pass. The pass that would have gotten Martins, Dyer or anybody into a shooting position, not that I'm laying all of the blame on him, Emre's no better. But this kid could be another Scholes with the right nurturing, and he'd love the Quayside and Bigg market. Gerrim in quick.

ZORRO said:

u cant tame a wild animal...and thats what barton is...wild with no professionlism..just a typical street fighter...not a good role model for the kids, is it...get paid loads to fight on pitch...put him in the u.f.c and let iceman chuck liddel to show him who can fight.

John said:

so what is Fat Sam going to do with barton, that stuart pearce couldn't? answer nothing, he is a thug and a complete waste of space, him in a toon shirt is a disgrace

Rob -- Baku Azerbaijan said:

I agree with you both, he will give some bite and determination on top of his natural skill and eye for a pass, so yeah lets go for him, ok Sam will have to work on his temperament, but he has done all that before and must know in himself that he can handle him.
It is going to be quite a summer this year and all for the right reasons for once, lets hope FS sells up or he will end up the most hated man on Tyneside, the expectations of new arrivals on the playing and coaching staff and boardroom shuffles for the better, absolutely incredible. Bring it on.

alex scott said:

Come off it with these people who don't want him because he's a thug!! Roy keane was a thug, remember shearer kicking that player in the head??? I know barton is a bit more aggresive than these examples but if he does it on the pitch will you care?? Course not. Would you rather have a goody two shoes who was a rubbish player?

toonchung said:

We can get him to show his ass to the opposition after every match

David Nesbitt said:

Surely the board must know by now that there is no time nor space in the Premiership for racist bullies. Have we forgotten Lee Bowyer and Jonathan Woodgate so quickly. With a multi-racial, multi national squad the signing of someone like Barton is an accident waiting to happen. Put him in a Black and Whiite shirt put him in the dressing room after a couple of pints and retire to a safe distance. After the Bowyer experience St James's is looking like a resting place for the KKK.

oxboy said:

For sure no one will be calling Barton "Mary Poppins".
Psycopath comes to mind -such behaviour was last seen in a certain Mr Roy Keane and he turned out rubbish. Didn't he?
We all know that Barton has had serious behavioral problems of Hanibal Lecketer magnitude but hey ho and on we go.
Lie back, trust Sam and hope that Joey can add the bite, energy and effectiveness we've been so lacking in midfield.
Lets just give him a chance and some encouragement and you never know ......

Tim Browning said:

Let's hope the medical test Barton is required to pass doesn't involve the brain! I like the idea that all his bad behaviour's in the past. Of course it is! Unfortunately, it's been in the recent past and doesn't show signs of abating. I wonder how he'll adapt to the 'international' community at SJP. I'd like to think he'll grow up over night, but I can't see it.


Hi Lee. I think Barton is a real quality player,but Sam will need to ensure
that this young lad behaves appropriately. Whether he will or not time will
tell,but if he does not grow up and mature both as a person and as a
professional he will be certain loss making investment. I think Barton is
one of the very best midfield driving forces in the country,but he has to
make use of and sustain that skill to become a really great player,if he can
do that there will be no better investment for the club to make. He has
learn self discipline,how to be a team player,how to conduct himself as a
person and as a professional footballer--Can he do that? Or will another
player throw away his future,his health and all the wonderful blessed talent
that god has given him because cannot learn from the life experiences we all
go through. In the end its up to Joey isn't it.Fame and fortune ,a settled
life,or the eventual scrap heat years earlier than when it should have come
naturally and the game deserting him like many before him and all because he
could not differentiate between the good ,the good the bad and the ugly
things in life. Choices are Joeys to make just hope he makes better ones in
the future than he has made in the past he really does need to trade the
headlines he has made in the past for better ones in the future,otherwise
its goodbye Vienna for a player like many before him who could not change
his life style behaviour for the better.

Dave C said:

Barton is a passionate lad, he has personal problems as well but he is a product of his environment.

He is not the first footballer to run into trouble with the law though, Woodgate springs immediately to mind. however, he went on to prove that he was a class act on the field (way too good for the Smogos!)and has stayed out of trouble off the field.

Give Joey a chance, maybe BS can help sort his private life out, however, of one thing I am sure, having seen the lad play at Man C I truely believe he is a massive cut above any mid field player currently on NUFCs books. I also believe within a few weeks of the new season starting he will be a toon hero and loved by the vast majority of the toon army

He is agressive, he is firey but thats what we have been missing for the last few seasons. His passion will hopefully help to inspire others around him and I am one Newcastle supporter who can't wait to see him run out at SJP for NUFC

Little Kev said:

I don't think Michael Owen is committed to NUFC. If he was he would have come out and said so. I think he is waiting to see if one of the top four clubs move for him. If they don't he will then say that he intended to stay all along. Conman! I for one wouldn't believe that. If Owen is here next season it is because nobody wants him who are bigger than us. No other reason.

chowdene said:

Barton has a problem with his on and off field discipline but look at the opta stats for last season he produced more than Parker,Butt and Emre combined in passes,shots on target and goals. He will deliver and turn a defensive midfield into an attacking one, just need Sam to keep an eye on him.


Lee Ryder

Lee Ryder - Proudly born and bred on Tyneside, the Chronicle's chief sports writer has followed the fortunes of the club over the last three decades as a Toon fan and football writer.

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